The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says it is shocking that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that ruled Nigeria for 16 years does not know that kidnapping and banditry are not federal offences.

The minister said this at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday while debunking the allegation by the PDP that kidnappers and bandits were not being brought to justice.

The PDP had, at a press conference in Abuja on Sunday, offered suggestions to the Federal Government on some topical issues, especially national security.

The minister asked the PDP to call out the states, including those being controlled by it, to ensure a rigorous prosecution of arrested kidnappers and bandits.

He said the PDP conveniently forgot that as far as terrorism, a federal offence, is concerned, the Federal Government had successfully prosecuted thousands of Boko Haram members in Kainji as part of a continuing exercise.

“We’re now seeking the cooperation of the judiciary to continue with the trial of arrested terrorists,” he added.

The minister said though the opposition party said it was dropping the toga of politics in the national interest, it did not respect its own words as it played cheap politics while playing the ostrich.

Says PDP playing politics with security

He said the recommendations by the PDP had exposed the party’s gimmickry and the fact that it was merely playing politics with serious national issues, especially security.

“Had it not been so, and had it done its homework properly, the PDP would have known that most of those same recommendations were already contained in the outcome of the Federal Government’s Town Hall Meeting on National Security which was held in Kaduna on April 8, 2021,” he said.

The minister flayed the PDP for accusing the Federal Government of running a government of exclusion, saying the party was more interested “in playing politics with national challenges than helping to find solutions to them. They presented as original thinking some of the same resolutions that we are already working to implement, without a single reference to those same recommendations that emanated from our Town Hall Meeting of April 8th 2021.

“They disparaged Mr. President and the Federal Government, engaged in name calling and finger-pointing, gloated about the security challenges facing the nation, lied about how they resolved security challenges under their watch and then went ahead to say, at their hysterical press conference, that they’ve not come to play politics. Who is fooling who here?

“We acknowledge the challenges we face as a nation and we’re doing everything possible to tackle them. We call on all Nigerians to support the efforts of the Federal Government to tackle the challenges. We advise those bent on playing cheap politics with the challenges to have a rethink. This is no time for politics.”